Newcastle United confirm Sandro Tonali selection decision v Crystal Palace amid two-game absence

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali is subject to an investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in relation to illegal betting activity.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe says Sandro Tonali is available for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace (kick-off 3pm).

A club statement from the Magpies on Wednesday confirmed the 23-year-old is subject to an investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in relation to illegal betting activity.

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Tonali withdrew from the Italy squad last week after the (FIGC) said he was “not in the necessary condition” to feature in Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and England.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The midfielder returned to Tyneside and has trained in the build -up to Palace. And Howe has revealed the player is in contention.

“Yeah he’s very much with us,” Howe said. “He’s trained twice with us this week. He’s very much available for selection. Like I do with all the players analysing their training performances, how they look and how they feel and Sandro has trained well with us.”

Howe added: “He’s had a very difficult couple of weeks - he’s been dealing with a lot. From what I can see he’s handling himself really well and dealing with his emotions incredibly strong. But underneath that, I’m sure there’s a lot going on. So I’l have to make a call.

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“But always I have to bring it back to football. I have to bring it back to his training and try and make the best decision for the team.”

Tonali’s agent Giuseppe Riso publicly revealed Tonali is battling a gambling addiction. Howe says Tonali has the full support of him and the club.

“It’s absolutely crucial,” Howe said. “The most important part of all this is Sandro and his welfare. It’s very easy for people to forget how young he is and the changes he’s had in his life coming from Italy to England - that’s hard enough to deal with and now he has this situation.

“Straight away we threw our arms around him and protect him and try and give him the love and support that he needs to find solution to the problems he’s had, and that’s what we’re endeavouring to do with a lot of conversations and communication with him and his family.

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“It’s not just Sandro, it’s the people around him that are going to be so important to him as well. It’s been a big effort from us and I have to say he’s handled himself superbly well. Obviously emotional but he’s handled himself with respect and dignity.”

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